January 9, 2019
  
How to brighten your home with houseplants that bloom
 
By Melinda Myers
 
Brighten your indoor décor with plants that bloom. Whether growing traditional favorites, flowering tropical plants, or annuals moved inside for winter; their colorful flowers are sure to elicit smiles and months of enjoyment. Just provide the right growing conditions and sufficient light and you will be enjoying months of indoor color.
 
You may have enjoyed an initial burst of color from traditional favorites like African violets and orchids but struggled to get them to flower again. Maximize your enjoyment and their colorful floral display by providing supplemental lighting. Plants with colorful flowers benefit from brighter or longer periods of light, especially in winter, than what streams through your windows. Grow lights, which provide bright, full-spectrum illumination, are an ideal solution.
 
You can find many types of grow lights, including simple hanging lamps, DIY fixtures, and metal stands. These are often relegated to the rec room or basement but might be less welcome in your living room. Consider furniture-style light stands like the Bamboo LED Grow Light Gardens (gardeners.com) that will complement your living spaces. They're outfitted with special high-output bulbs, tucked out of sight and more than twice as bright as most standard LEDs. This allows you to grow most flowers and even some fruits without the need to raise and lower the lights to accommodate different plant heights.
 
Expand your indoor flowering plant collection with a few tropicals. Here are just four of my favorites.
 
Give flowering maple ( Abutilon) bright light and cooler winter temperatures to enjoy their beauty all year long. The solid green or variegated maple-shaped leaves inspired their common name. Plants may be compact and upright or vining, while the flowers may resemble those of hibiscus or dangling lanterns. Select varieties known for year-round flowering.
 
Create a focal point with the unique blooms of chenille plant ( Acalypha). The long, fuzzy, cascading flowers resemble chenille yarn. Perfect as a hanging basket, set upon a plant stand or pruned into tree form. This plant needs high humidity and plenty of light to maintain its health and year-round beauty indoors.
 
Enjoy the coppery bronze flowers of the shrimp plant ( Justica brandegeana). This long blooming Mexican native performs best in bright light and high humidity. Use it as a hanging basket, prune into a small tree or set it upon a plant stand where the cascading shrimp-like flowers can be enjoyed.
 
Brighten your fall and winter décor with lipstick vine ( Aeschynanthus). The vivid red flowers emerge from dark maroon structures, resembling a tube of lipstick. The glossy green foliage adds needed greenery indoors throughout the year. The more light these plants receive, the better the floral display.
 
As always, check the plant tags for specific care instructions.
 
You can boost your indoor floral display by placing annuals you're overwintering, such as geraniums and mandevilla, under lights to encourage blooming. Give these plants bright light, water thoroughly as needed, and enjoy the extra color. Prune if necessary, to keep the plants full and compact.
 
Incorporating flowers into your living space will boost your mood and reduce stress while livening your indoor décor.
 
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.
Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is a gardening-themed short story presented for your enjoyment. - Michael Bracken, editor
 
Labor of Love
 
By Janice Curran
 
"How's the answering service business going, Susana?" Mother asked.
 
After a meal of chicken-fried steak and biscuits, we were loading my dishwasher while, in the adjoining room, my son Austin played "Alamo" with his toy soldiers in a pretend fort.
 
"It's my dream career," I said, angling another dish into the appliance. "My phone might ring at all hours, but the reclaimed family time more than makes up for that."
 
She gave me a thumbs-up, her relief evident. She remembered well that just a few years earlier life hadn't been so "dreamy" for me. Suddenly single with a young son to support, I took a job at an area call center where I could work all the overtime I wanted while she babysat her grandson. Eventually, I saved enough to take a chance as a work-from-home operator. Since becoming my own boss, I never looked back.
 
Lowering my voice, I added, "I think I've found my dream guy, too."
 
Mother's face lit. "Tell me about him."
 
Dan's positives were many. But one topped the rest.
 
"He's a devoted daddy," I said. There was something moving in the way his working-man's voice softened whenever he mentioned Grace. "He's also a conscientious provider. And a good listener."
 
As a matter of fact, Dan was the only of my clients who inquired about me. Our discussions ran from how our days were going to what we were fixing to make for supper. Our tastes were, I learned, remarkably similar.
 
Mother chuckled. "Surely, he's tall, dark and handsome as well."
 
I knew Dan was single, my age and, like me, the parent of an eight-year-old. I often slipped off to sleep wondering whether he looked as fine as he sounded.
 
"Actually," I said, "I haven't met him."
 
Mother, measuring out the detergent, stopped short. "Beg pardon?"
 
"I've been handling his customer calls for the past month. He owns a landscaping business handed down from his daddy."
 
Like that, Mother's concern vanished. "Does that mean he can build you those raised vegetable beds you've been wanting?"
 
The raised vegetable beds were just some of the home upgrades I'd been putting off while growing my business. With my finances now stable, I was working through my wish list.
 
"Funny you should say that. Today I asked him for an estimate." I glanced at my watch. "He should be here about-"
 
The doorbell rang.
 
I smiled. "Now."
 
Mother, with a wink, corralled Austin for story time and disappeared with him into his bedroom. I went to answer the door-and lost my ability to speak.
 
The guy with the computer tablet tucked under his arm was not tall, dark and handsome. He was tall, dark and wow.
 
"Susana?" he said.
 
Holy Houston, what a grin. I gave myself a mental shake. "Dan. Howdy. We meet at last."
 
His grin grew wider, and he extended his hand. "It was worth the wait."
 
Despite the chilly outdoor temperature, his greeting warmed me. I ushered him in. "Can I get you anything? Coffee? Hot cocoa?"
 
"Coffee would hit the spot. First, why don't you show me where you'd like the raised beds?"
 
"Yes, sir. Right this way."
 
He followed me through the house toward the back entrance, which opened out onto the fenced-in yard. En route, he spotted Austin's creation.
 
"So this is Austin's fort."
 
I looked at the sheet-draped dining chairs, and I looked at Dan. "Good guess. You must have as active of an imagination as Austin."
 
"Long before I was building raised beds, I was appropriating Daddy's wood scraps to build forts." His brow furrowed. "Hmm ... What do we have here?"
 
"What? Where?"
 
Dan seemed to extract a small box from beneath the sheets of the pretend-fort. Straightening, he held out treats I hadn't seen since I was a kid: Texas-icon-shaped cookies.
 
Abandoning all manners, I grabbed for the package. "Shoot, Dan! Are these the real thing?"
 
Dan beamed. "Just as you described-shortbread boots, stars, cowboy hats and bite-size Alamos."
 
I tore open the box and popped an Alamo into my mouth. As I rolled my eyes in ecstasy over the buttery sweetness, Mother burst, breathless, into the room.
 
"Is everything all right?"
 
That's Mother-ready to lay down her life for her young. Between chews, I made the introductions. "Sorry about the outburst, Mother. I couldn't help it. Look what Dan had hidden up his sleeve."
 
She inspected the box of shortbreads. "Your childhood favorite. Actually, you liked the stars the best. 'My little star,' I called you."
 
That was only one of my fond family memories. I'd always wanted to give Austin the attention my homemaker mother had given me. I was grateful my home business now made that possible.
 
To Dan I said, "I mentioned these cookies weeks ago. How did you remember?"
 
His gaze held mine. "I'm good with the important stuff."
 
I felt my throat catch. Just as well Austin chose then to join us.
 
"Mama, what are you eating?" he asked.
 
"A cookie," I said, ruffling his mop of curls. "Luckily, there's more for you."
 
"Or," Dan interjected, "you can have your own box."
 
I faced him, wide-eyed. "You didn't."
 
He glanced at Mother, sheepish. "Ma'am, I wish I'd known you'd be here, too."
 
Grandmother and grandson were won over-especially after Dan offered to build Austin a more permanent "Alamo" with any wood left over from the beds project. Dan and I left them chatting animatedly over the prospect as we headed outside.
 
In the illumination of the porch light, we paced off the steps where the beds would be installed. By the time the details were worked out, I found myself feeling like half of a couple. Crazy, I know, but I didn't remember ever feeling so comfortable with a relative stranger. What could I do but agree when, back inside, Mother invited Dan and Grace to Sunday dinner?
 
Later, as Dan was leaving, Austin piped up with his own wish. "Remember the Alamo, sir."
 
Charmed, the adults all laughed.
 
Slanting me a promise-filled glance, Dan said, "Austin, that's one request I'd never forget."

Gardening tips

It is not too late to plant pansies, Johnny Jump Ups (viola), cyclamen, snap dragons, alyssum and ornamental cabbage. Water in new transplants with fish emulsion or other water soluble organic  fertilizers. Fertilize established plants with 6 cups of organic fertilizer (or two cups of synthetic) per 25 square feet of plantings. 

Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a copy of Texas Gardene r's 2019 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Garde ning Tips.
Upcoming garden events
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
JANUARY

Houston: "Gardening Basics for the Gulf Coast" is the topic of the January 10, meeting of the Houston Rose Society. The program will be presented by Beverly Welch, owner of The Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball. At The Arbor Gate Beverly carries roses, herbs, perennials, native plants, bulbs and vegetables all of which will grow and thrive in our Gulf Coast climate. Welch shares her expertise on the best ways to set up Gulf Coast gardens for success in the new year. Arrive at 7:00 p.m. for social time; the meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. Free admission. For additional information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. January 10 in the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. John S. (Jay) White, publisher of Texas Gardener magazine, will present "Home Garden Trends - Average Gardeners, Mean Vegetables and Distributed Benefits." Jay is an organic gardener from Brenham, Texas. His love of gardening inspired him to get his Masters of Agriculture with a specialization in Horticulture from Texas A&M University. While at A&M, he started an organic gardening website called "the Masters of Horticulture." Sally and Jay have both spent their entire lives either in the garden or surrounded by other gardeners. They have learned much from their mentors and enjoy telling the stories of these amazing gardeners and the plants they grow. Texas Gardener magazine is one of the oldest continuously published gardening magazines in the country. For 38 years the magazine has been produced "for Texas gardeners, by Texas gardeners." The magazine owes its success to the incredibly talented professional and lay gardeners who have consistently provided the gardeners of the Lone Star State with the most current and fact-based information needed to grow plants successfully in the incredibly diverse climate and landscapes of Texas. The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month and includes a rare-plant raffle after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series fund are always appreciated. Parking is available at the PNPC and Raguet Elementary School, located at 2428 Raguet St. For more information, call (936) 468-4129, or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

Spring: Harris County Master Gardeners Green Thumb Series: Preparing Garden Beds & Lawns - 6:30-8:30 p.m., January 10, Barbara Bush Library, 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring. Free. For more information, call (713) 274-0950 or visit hcmga.tamu.edu.
 
Houston: Know & Grow: Get Ready for the Upcoming Growing Season Conference 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, January 11, at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd., Houston. $20 registration fee. Call or visit online for full agenda: (713) 274-0950; https://know-n-grow.eventbrite.com.
 
Crystal Beach: January 12 "Backyard Citrus", with Robert Marshall, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, 9-11 a.m., at Crystal Beach Fire & Rescue, 930 Noble Carl Drive, Crystal Beach; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.
 
Dallas: Join Texas Discovery Gardens on January 12 for Cut Back, Spring Forward, a pruning class on how to and when to prune to keep all your plants looking their best! Led by Roger Sanderson, Director of Horticulture at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. $10, or $5 for members of Texas Discovery Gardens. Class price includes admission to the Butterfly House and Gardens.

Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners are hosting "Mrs. Peggy Martin" at a luncheon on Saturday, January 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at FBC Kaufman, 1906 Fair Street, Kaufman. There will be a "meet & greet" at 11 followed by lunch and a presentation on Old Garden & Antique Roses. There are five rose varieties available for pre-purchase, $18 for 2-gallon pots: Peggy Martin, Plum Perfect, Ducher, Julia Child and Mrs. Anthony Waterer. Admission is $35 and includes lunch. Pre-order tickets as seating is limited. For more information or to request tickets and roses, contact Jim Burt at (469) 371-4542, master.gardener@kaufmancounty.net or Kaufman County AgriLife Extension at (972) 932-9069.

La Marque: January 12 "Growing Blueberries", with Dr. David Cohen, Galveston County Honorary Master Gardener, presenting, 9-10:30 a.m., at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Bldg. in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main, La Marque; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.

Austin: The Austin Organic Gardeners Club will meet Monday, January 14, with Joseph 'Pete' Van Dyck of Van Dyck Earthworks & Design discussing, " Drought Proof Texas." Van Dyck will discuss the history and patterns of flooding and drought in central Texas and the link between photosynthesis and soil fertility with the land's ability to hold moisture. Van Dyck 's talk will also include strategies for harvesting water in the landscape starting from the hilltop all the way down to bottom lands, including contours, cover crops, and sheet mulching. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 pm for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with experienced local gardeners. Club business begins at 7 pm, followed by our guest speaker presentation. For more information, please visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

College Station: Brazos County Master Gardeners present "Let's Talk Tomatoes!"Tuesday, January 15, 6:00 p.m. at the Lick Creek Nature Center, 13600 Rock Prairie Rd, College Station. Learn about some favorite varieties of homegrown tomatoes and growing tips. T his event is open to the public at no charge. Learn more at www.brazosmg.com.

Houston: Harris County Master Gardeners Green Thumb Series: Preparing Garden Beds & Lawns - 6:30-8:30 p.m., January 15, Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale, Houston. Free. For more information, call (713) 274-0950 or visit hcmga.tamu.edu.

Seguin: Registering Now for the Guadalupe County Master Gardeners "Become a Master Gardener" Night Class 32 to be held on Tuesday evenings from January 15 to May 14 from 5:45 pm to 8:45 p.m. at 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. Cost is $210 includes a Texas Master Gardener Handbook. For more information, contact Kay McElveen at (479) 790-2933 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org for more info and application. Class size is limited.

Bryan: Brazos County Master Gardeners present "Gardening with the Masters - Vegetables" at noon Wednesday, January 16, at the Brazos County Extension Office, 2619 Highway 21 W, Bryan. Join the Master Gardeners at the pavilion in their Demonstration Idea Garden to learn about vegetable gardening - the "how to", what does well in the Brazos Valley and garden challenges. This event is open to the public at no charge. Learn more at www.brazosmg.com.

La Grange: The Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association is offering a training program with weekly classes running from January 17, to graduation on April 23. Classes will be held on Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in La Grange. Topics for the class include plant growth and development, entomology, soils and plant fertility, landscape and fruit trees, plant pathology, vegetable gardening, lawn care and various aspects of environmental horticulture. Classes are taught by Texas AgriLife Extension specialists, agents and local experts. The Texas Master Gardener program boasts the largest corps of Master Gardener volunteers in the nation. A love of gardening and search for knowledge is central to why Master Gardeners join the program. They remain Master Gardeners to enjoy the camaraderie and friendship of others who share their interests, to gain and share horticulture knowledge and to give back to the community. The Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association spans four counties: Austin, Colorado, Fayette and Washington. An open house is scheduled to answer questions and provide more information about the Master Gardener Training Course: January 10, 9:00 a.m. until noon. Fayette County Agriculture Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, LaGrange. For more information on the program, contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Austin County at (979) 865-2072, or visit https://txmg.org/bluebonnet/ .

Waller: The Waller County Master Gardeners will be accepting applications thru December 14, 2018 for their 2019 Master Gardener Training Program. Classes are scheduled on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting January 17 and include presentations by Texas A&M horticulture experts and Master Gardeners. The cost is $160 per person. More information can be found at www.txmg/org/wallermg/training or at (979) 826-7651.
 
Tyler: Smith County Master Gardeners at the Library, January 18. "Crapemyrtles: The Lilac of the South" - Selecting varieties, planting, pruning and protecting one of the South's showiest summer flowering trees, with Keith Hansen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agent Emeritus and owner East Texas Gardening. Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Overflow free parking in garage across from the library.
 
Bryan: Brazos County Master Gardeners present "Learning at the Library - How to Prune and Care for Roses," at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 19, at the Clara B. Mounce Public Library, 201 E 26th St., Bryan. Rose care begins in February so join the Master Gardeners to learn what you need to do now to have beautiful roses all year long. This event is open to the public at no charge. Learn more at www.brazosmg.com.
 
Katy: Harris County Master Gardeners Green Thumb Series: Preparing Garden Beds & Lawns- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., January 19, Maud Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. For more information, call (713) 274-0950 or visit hcmga.tamu.edu.
 
La Marque: January 19 "Kitchen Gardening", with Mary Demeny, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, 1-3 p.m., at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Bldg. in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main, La Marque; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.
 
Cypress: Harris County Master Gardeners Fruit Tree Plant Sale, 9 a.m.-noon (or sellout), January 26, plants suitable for our area, plus various soils available. 19110 Longenbaugh, Cypress. Next to the Weekly Center. Free. For more information, call (713) 274-0950 or visit hcmga.tamu.edu.
 
Galveston: January 26 "'Texas Tuff' Plants", with Galveston County Master Gardener Marie Leal presenting, 9:30-11:30 a.m., at Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Street, Galveston; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.
 
Galveston: January 26 "Herbs for the Gulf Coast", with Nancy Langston-Noh and Briana Etie, Galveston County Master Gardeners, presenting, 1-3 p.m., at Rosenberg Library 2310 Sealy Street, Galveston; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details   http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.
 
Galveston: January 26 "Wedge Grafting", with Sue Jeffco, Galveston County Master Gardener, Instructing, 9-10:30 a.m., at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Bldg. in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Phone (281) 534-3413; email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but pre-registration required.
FEBRUARY

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners Association will host a Winter Citrus Seminar, Saturday, February 9 , at the Victoria County Master Gardener Association Pavilion and Educational Gardens, 333 Bachelor Drive, Victoria. Doors open at 9 a.m., with the seminar starting at 9:30 a.m. and ending around noon. Fee is $10.00 per person. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Monte Nesbitt will present information on citrus tree and avocado selection and management. Attendees will leave with the latest information and material on the upcoming Victoria County Master Gardener Association Citrus Sale, February 23. There will be a time to tour the Victoria Master Gardener Educational Gardens and ask citrus-related questions of Nesbitt. For additional information, contact Donna McCanlies at donnamccanlies@yahoo.com or ( 361) 676-3895.

Nacogdoches: Linda Gay, Arborgate, will discuss "Climbers, Twisters and Viners - Using Vertical Space" February 14 at the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. There's a social at 6:30 p.m., and the lecture begins at 7:00 p.m.

Tyler:  Smith County Master Gardeners at the Library, February 15. "Basics of Hobby Greenhouses" - Think you want a Greenhouse? presented by Debby Watkins, Smith County Master Gardener, Advanced Training. Tyler Public Library, 201 S College, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Overflow free parking in garage across from the library.

Hitchcock: February 16 "Galveston County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale," Informational presentation about plants for sale, 8-8:50 a.m.; plant sale, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; if possible, bring your own wagon for transporting purchases; at Galveston County Fair Grounds in Jack Brooks Park - Rodeo Arena (large covered arena), Hwy 6 and Jack Brooks Road, Hitchcock. For updates and additional information visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will host "Edible Gardening 101" on February 16, from 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. at the Landing at Myers Park & Event Center in McKinney, Texas. CCMGA has expanded on their popular "Spring into Vegetable Gardening" classes, and in addition to basic vegetable gardening, will offer timely tips on successfully growing other edibles, such as herbs, berries and more, for backyard gardeners in Collin County. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned gardener, there is something for everyone at this educational event. Demonstration tables will feature hands-on displays and will be manned by Master Gardeners and local experts who have expertise in vegetable resources, raised bed construction, water conservation, drip irrigation, propagation, container gardening, pollinators, greenhouse gardening, tree care, insects/disease, and more. Representatives from Texas Pure Products will be on hand with examples of various soil amendments and mulches. Register online at the CCMGA website www.ccmgatx.org . There is a $10 per person fee to attend. Registration runs from January 1, 2019 through February 8, 2019. Seating is limited so registration is required to ensure there will be enough handouts and goodie bags for attendees. Contact (972) 548-4219, or visit www.ccmgatx.org for more information. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. on February 16 at the Landing at Myers Park, 7117 County Road 166, McKinney.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners will hold their 2019 Spring Conference on Saturday, February 23, from 1:00-3:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 1920 Beaumont, Jacksonville. Registration is $10.00. Vendors booths and snacks will be available. For more information, contact brendasheridan47@gmail.com.
MARCH

Waller: The Waller County Master Gardeners will host a spring Vegetable and Herb sale, Waller County Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead, March 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Vegetable and herb transplants and seeds will be available for purchase. Free presentations by Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Mary Karish at 9 a.m. and Judy Barrett at 10:30 a.m. Visit www.txmg.org/wallermg for more information. RSVP for presentations at (979) 826-7651 x3068.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at a location in Houston to be determined. For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/ or call 713-274-0950.

Dallas:  Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month, Sept.- May, at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas, 75230. The club hosts different speakers each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Come early and order lunch from the The Cafe, which features a healthy menu, fresh local produce and sustainably produced meats and fish (or call in advance to order  972-338-2233) . For more information about Garden Masters Inc, email Marcia Borders at  borderlineart1@gmail.com .
 
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
 
Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Ector/Midland counties) have monthly meetings at noon on the first Wednesday of each month at the West Texas Food Bank, 1601 Westcliff Drive in Midland. For more information call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.

Navasota: The Navasota Garden Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month (September through May) at 10:00 a.m., usually at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 Church Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door at the North entrance. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
   
Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.org

Fort Worth: The Native Plant Society of Texas - North Central Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month, excluding January and July, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., program begins at 7:00 p.m. Guest speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Members, friends, family, guests and the public are welcome. For a list of speakers and topics or more information, visit http://www.txnativeplants.org.
 
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually meet at 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.
 
Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Peckerwood Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is required. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
SECOND WEEK
 
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.org.

Glen Rose: The Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
Lockhart: Caldwell County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. January through November at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library, 1st Floor, 217 S. Main St., Lockhart. A monthly educational horticulture program is presented from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. covering various topics of interest to gardeners and homeowners. For more information, email caldwellcountymg@yahoo.com 
 
Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.
 
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.
 
Denton:  The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month . Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit  http://dcmga.com/.
 
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
 
Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.
 
Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 
 
Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the
second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.or g and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.
 
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
 
Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.
 
Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Kathy Henderson at kshend@verizon.net or visit http://www.npsot.org/wp/wilco.
 
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the
second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.

Pasadena : The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the  second Thursday of each month  at The Genoa Friendship Garden Educational Building at 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Pasadena. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu .

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 
 
Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.
 
College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.
 
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:00 a.m. at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.
  
Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.
 
Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
 
Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
  
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the  GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/. 

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.

Abilene: The Master Gardeners meet the third Tuesday of each month at the Taylor County Extension Office, 1982 Lytle Way, Abilene. For more information, contact Big Country Master Gardeners Association at mgardeners@yahoo.com.

Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
 
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860. 
 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer Note : there will be no meeting in June or December.
 
Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.
 
Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.
 
Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.
 
Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.
 
Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.

Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
 
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 605 E 2nd St, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses after the business meeting. Visitors are welcome. Please email Sharon Harrigan at sharonspetals@yahoo.com for more information.
 
Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter meets at 6:45 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the Houston Arboretum Nature Center (entrances at 4501 Woodway Dr. and 610 West Loop N). For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit http://npsot.org/houston.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a free presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct., Dec.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1-3:30 p.m. Check http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
 
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture series at 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Tickets are available online. Tickets are $10, $5 for members.For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
Fort Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society meetings are held the third Saturday of each month at Texas Garden Club Inc, 3111 Old Garden Club Rd., Fort Worth (located next to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden), 10:00 a.m. to noon, September through June. For more information, email herbalhen@yahoo.com.
 
FOURTH WEEK
 
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
 
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
 
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
 
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
 
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
 
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. 7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit http://thegardenclubofaustin.org/.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West St., Leander, unless there is a special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, there is a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call President Kathleen Tully at 512-422-8580 or email LeanderGardenClub@gmail.com .
 
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit h ttp://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
 
Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, holds an Open Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Tours start at 10 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 2 p.m. Tickets available online or at the gate. $10, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month (except November and December) at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Road, Dallas. For more information, visit www.gdogc.org. 
 
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